Episcopal Tradition & Inclusivity

Chapel of the Good Shepherd

In September 2005, CCES opened the doors to the newly constructed Chapel of the Good Shepherd. Located in the heart of the Cavalier Campus, the inspiring chapel rises above the roofs of the Lower, Middle and Upper School buildings surrounding it, a symbol of the centrality of faith and prayer in a Christ Church Episcopal School education.
CCES is a chapel community spiritually rooted in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. We gather weekly in community prayer and worship, honoring our Episcopal tradition while respecting the dignity of each person and the religious traditions of others. We embrace our Christian identity and welcome students of other faiths as we believe that our community is enriched by religious diversity.
Students participate by planning services, reading Bible lessons, writing and leading prayers, and lending their musical talents to worship. Key events in the school calendar – award ceremonies, special recognitions, the commissioning of student leaders – are celebrated within chapel services, placing student achievement and responsibility within a context of giving Glory to God and service to others.

The School began as part of the Parish of Christ Church Episcopal, Greenville, SC and was originally located on the church campus downtown. The physical facility and operations subsequently moved to the present campus at Cavalier Drive. The Chapel of the Good Shepherd (“Chapel”), located on the present campus, is an outward and visible symbol of our Episcopal identity. The Chapel was built and designated for use as a place of Episcopal worship, and for the teaching, instruction and education of the students at the School. Services at the Chapel or elsewhere on the School Campus conform to the liturgy of the Episcopal Church and are subject to the oversight and direction of the Rector and Vestry of Christ Church Episcopal, Greenville, SC. In view of the administrative and security requirements, as well as the specific purposes for which the Chapel of the Good Shepherd has been dedicated and consecrated, these facilities are not used for weddings, baptisms, funerals or other events that are not part of the students’ educational or religious curriculum. We believe it best to reserve use of the Chapel of the Good Shepherd for our current Cavalier community of students, faculty, and staff.


List of 11 items.

  • What does it mean to be an Episcopal school?

    To be an Episcopal school means, above all, that our shared life at CCES is grounded in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This begins in our regular Chapel services and reaches into every aspect of Cavalier life, in classrooms, on athletic fields, and in the lunchroom. In all that we do, we seek to embody the love of God made known to us in Jesus. Being an Episcopal school colors all aspects of Cavalier life.
  • What are the principal qualities that distinguish a school as Episcopal?

    The National Association of Episcopal Schools offers a superb answer to this question, which we’ll gladly borrow here: Episcopal Schools are “Christian communities whose missions integrate spiritual formation into all aspects of the educational experience. Episcopal schools are most distinctive when they are true to this mission and when they do so in the graceful and inclusive manner which is the hallmark of the Anglican approach to education over the centuries.” (For more on “Anglican,” please see below under, “Is the Episcopal Church Protestant or catholic?”)
  • What are some distinctive features of the Episcopal way?

    The Book of Common Prayer captures the Episcopal way. The first Prayer Book was published in 1549, drawing most heavily on the Bible, as well as on centuries of Christian prayer and worship. New editions have been published periodically since then. We use the Prayer Book in all our Chapel services.

    To seek to find the middle way –  the via media –  is very much the Episcopal way. In that spirit, the Episcopal Church considers itself both Catholic and Protestant.

    The Episcopal way is to welcome any and all to participate in receiving the Sacrament (the blessed bread and wine) on the belief that Jesus would not turn anyone away from his table. We aspire to embody that same hospitality at the altar rail.
  • Is Episcopalianism a Christian denomination?

    Yes. The Episcopal Church is centered in the life, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Episcopal way is to seek God’s will through scripture, tradition, and reason, and always under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. 

    To read more about the beliefs of the Episcopal Church, please see the Nicene Creed and the Baptismal Covenant in the Book of Common Prayer.
  • What does the Episcopal Church believe about Jesus?

    As Colossians 1:15-20 says, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.”

    As the Nicene Creed says, “We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.”
  • Is the Episcopal Church Protestant or Catholic?

    Yes!, is the short answer. The Episcopal Church is the American iteration of the Anglican Communion, a worldwide family of churches with shared roots in the Church of England. The Episcopal Church is both Protestant and catholic. The Episcopal Church is “Protestant” in the sense of inheriting the gifts of the Reformation (e.g., a deep valuing of scripturally grounded preaching). The Episcopal Church is also “catholic,” not in the sense of Roman Catholic, but in the sense of the universal Church, because we claim the gifts of pre-Reformation Christianity (e.g., a great reverence for and regular participation in the Holy Sacrament). 
  • Will my child feel comfortable at CCES if they are not a part of the Episcopal tradition?

    Yes. In everything we do, starting in our Chapel services, we seek to communicate that every single person is a beloved child of God, is precious to God, and is therefore warmly welcome. We seek to embody the hospitality of God to all God’s children, whoever they are.

    In that vein, we often quote from the Episcopal Church’s Baptismal Covenant, “Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?” We will, with God’s help.

    We strive to embody in our community the beautiful diversity of the Kingdom of God: diversity of background, race, ethnicity, and thought, to name a few examples.

    Roughly 20% of CCES students are Episcopalians; the other 80% of our students are everything from Baptist, Methodist, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, and Lutheran to Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, and Jewish, as well as students who are growing up in households that don't identify with any particular religious tradition. 
  • What is the Episcopal understanding of the Bible?

    We believe the Bible is one of the greatest and most holy gifts God has given us. We believe, further, that God inspired the human authors of scripture and that God still speaks to us through the Bible, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. “The word of God is living and active” (Hebrews 4:12). To read more about the Episcopal understanding of the Bible, please see An Outline of the Faith in the Book of Common Prayer (p. 853-54). 
  • Will my child be able to participate in worship?

    Yes, by all means. First of all, as we see it, every person present for worship is a participant. Moreover, your child will have opportunities to serve in leadership roles in Chapel services over the years. For example, students will read lessons; offer prayers; sing in a choir; play an instrument; give a homily (a short sermon); and serve as an acolyte – carrying, for example, the Cross in procession during a Chapel service.
  • Are all students required to attend Chapel?

    Yes. We believe our Chapel services are at the heart of our life together at CCES, a time where we build and deepen community, as we are drawn closer to God and to one another. During worship, each student receives either the Sacrament or a blessing from one of the Chaplains. Meanwhile there is always latitude in terms of what prayers are said by each participant, depending on each person’s comfort and beliefs.
  • What is the difference between the words “Episcopal” and “Episcopalian”?

    The simplest way to think of it is: “Episcopal” is an adjective, and “Episcopalian” is a person. For example, to be an Episcopalian is to be a member of the Episcopal Church. We also speak of Episcopal worship, Episcopal schools, Episcopal Identity, and so forth. 

In the News:

List of 1 items.

  • Celebrations of Faith

    All Saints Chapels
    Blessing of the Animals
    Chrismon Service
    Christian Education Classes
    Christmas Services
    Easter Services
    Epiphany Scholar Chapel
    Grandparents Day Chapels
    Journey to the Cross
    Morning Prayer & Eucharist
    Road to Bethlehem
    School events open with prayer
    Senior Chapel
    Special Friends Day Chapel
    Stations of the Cross
    Weekly Chapel Services
Christ Church Episcopal School (“CCES”) admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at CCES. CCES does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, national or ethnic origin, creed, religion, or sexual orientation in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, financial aid, scholarship or other programs, or athletic or other school-administered programs and activities.